In a Vase, on Monday – rescue event

This part of North America is in the midst of a heat wave – for us that means temperatures about 10 degrees Celsius (around 15 Fahrenheit) warmer than usual, both during the day and overnight. Add to that extreme humidity with no rain and it means a very sudden end to what was a glorious spring and an entrance of what appears will be an uncomfortable summer. In my garden, peonies show heat distress first – opening their buds at a furious rate, and then just as quickly dropping their petals. I went out early yesterday morning to ‘rescue’ a few of the flowers, bringing them indoors so that we could enjoy them for a day or two longer.

While I was rescuing peonies, I also snipped end of season stems of a Lupin, white Allium and a few Oriental Poppy seedheads. Plus a few summer flowers – the first Blanketflower (Gaillardia) to bloom and a sprig of garden sage (Salvia) that is now going strong.

My Ikebana vase this week has secondary buds from the ‘Duchesse de Nemours,’ an Echinacea bud and a spray of Geranium. The greenery is the results of doing the Chelsea Chop on a few New England Asters – Symphyotrichum novae-angliae.
There was a lot of trial and error involved in finding the perfect flower collecting container. I’ve settled on a coffee tin – wide enough not to tip over, deep enough to contain taller stems, unbreakable when it gets dropped…In it I place a small glass jam jar so that smaller stems don’t get lost or damaged in the process.

Many thanks to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for hosting IAVOM and giving gardeners around the world an opportunity to share their flower designs.


  1. A pretty selection. That green vase is lovely. I feel your pain about the sudden heatwave. My peonies and roses are also dropping petals everywhere. They were gorgeous this year though, while they lasted.

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  2. It’s always interesting to see a mixed season vase and, my goodness, that is a big temperature jump for you! The humidity is the worst I expect, and makes it uncomfortable to be in your garden I imagine. We are expecting a temperature boost in the UK too and the humidity has been high for a weeks or so, with a number of thunderstorms. That’s a gorgeous peony and such a shame the blooms are so short-lived – but there will be another year! Thanks for sharing another two of your vases, Chris – always a double pleasure to visit your blog 🙂

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  3. A shame the temperatures are speeding up the flowers. It’s inevitable here but for the first time in a long time we’ve had cooler temps and rain alternating with hot humid days, balancing things out and extending our spring. Love all your flower selections, especially the lupine.

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  4. I’m glad you were able to rescue a few of those lovely peonies. Heatwaves are miserable to begin with but I’d be dismayed beyond measure it they cost me peonies. I hope your current weather proves to be a temporary fluke and not a persistent pattern. We had two early heatwaves here and I feared what that meant for the summer to come but we got a break a week ago with the return of the morning marine layer that normally characterizes June here. I hope a break from weather woes is in your future too.

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